Upcoming Weekend Activities 7/1-7/4

Upcoming Activities This Weekend 7/1-7/4

This weekend is full of opportunities to get outside and get active! The Kazi team will be at the Butte to Butte 5k/10k/4mi walk. Stop by and pick up free Kazi gear and lemonade from us at the finish line. Also, go check out the Olympic Trials starting Friday, July 1st. Some of the best track & field athletes in the world will be competing at Hayward Field, so if you are still looking for something to do these next 10 days, don’t miss out on the Olympic Trials.

 

Group Runs, YMCA Happenings, and Other Adventures

  • Friday, 11am
    • Eugene YMCA
    • YMCA Cardio Tennis
    • See the Kazi app for more details
  • Friday, 1pm
    • Eugene YMCA
    • YMCA Open Gym, Basketball
    • See the Kazi app for more details
  • Saturday, 9am
    • RunHub NW, 515 High St. in Eugene
    • RunHub NW is excited to host Saturday morning runs (4-8+ miles)
    • For more information check out the Group Runs page
  • Sunday, 9:30am
    • Eugene Non-Ballers Association Pick-up Basketball
    • 150 Darlene Lane, Eugene, OR Indoor Gym
    • For more information check out the ENBA Page

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Events to Watch (or participate in)

  • Monday, Butte to Butte
    • 7:45am-5k West 5th between High and Pearl
    • 8am-10k Spencer Butte Middle School
    • 8:30am-4mi walk Spencer Butte Middle School
    • For more information check out the Butte to Butte homepage
  • July 1 – 10, United States Olympic Track & Field Trials
    • Historic Hayward Field plays host to the US Track & Field Olympic Trials
    • Check out the Schedule of Events here

Have an excellent weekend!

Mental Toughness: Soccer

In the second of our 6-part series on mental toughness, we examine soccer. We have previously written on mental toughness in running and in tennis.

By way of introduction, here is how we define it:

What is Mental Toughness?

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Mental Toughness not hard to identify but difficult to define. Inc magazine provides an interesting starting point in “4 Excuses Mentally Strong People Don’t Use“. These are:

  • I’d rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.
  • You only live once.
  • I don’t care what anybody thinks.
  • I deserve to be happy.

While these sayings aren’t necessarily bad, when used as excuses they tend to have deleterious effects. When mental toughness is defined as one’s ability to consistently demonstrate outstanding results in the most critical circumstances, then an excuse designed to shirk one’s responsibilities is counter-productive. In addition to the cliches above, we would humbly propose the following addendum:

  • Whatever will be, will be.

Now, there is probably a time and place for this. However, the mentally strong don’t use this as a way to avoid follow-through but rather as a comfort that when he has “worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted one the field of battle – victorious.”Not necessarily a victor in the  battle itself but a victor in knowing he has done all that he could. (h/t Vince Lombardi)

Mental Toughness in Soccer

In recent years, it has seemed that mental toughness in the most popular sport in the world has been characterized more by a stunning lack of it than the presence befitting professional athletes. The image above shows one of the most talented Italian soccer players of his generation, Roberto Baggio, missing a penalty as his team succumbed to the yellow shirts of Brazil in the 1994 World Cup Final shoot-out

It wasn’t like Baggio simply had his spot kick saved; he totally missed the target. This is a guy who had been kicking a ball his entire life, taken thousands of penalties, and scored many many goals. And yet he couldn’t hit the frame of the goal from 12 yards out.

Then take a more recent example – England. A collection of youthful talent highly paid stars, and poster boys lost to a team from Iceland that had few if any recognizable faces in the Euro 2016 competition. On paper, England should have won handily. Their players should have had the toughness to compete at the highest level just as they did all season for their club teams. Instead, it was Iceland who demonstrated remarkable resiliency, coming from behind and then holding on to escape as 2-1 victors.

So, when we look at mental toughness in soccer, it is different than any sports. For examples of toughness writ large, we must look at the minnows rather than the big boys. There are a couple common threads:

  1. Buy-in from all where all are working to a common goal. Working with one’s teammates where there is a unity of purpose and an absence of selfish ambition is key. For Iceland’s players, this was the biggest match of their lives. And while I’m sure England felt some honor playing for the country, it is difficult to replicate the same “last-chance saloon” feel that befell the Icelanders. When club soccer pays the bills and takes the majority of the year, you simply can’t get up for a national team match with the same singularity of purpose. Even in larger national teams that are successful, there tends to be a passion borne out of “the biggest game of their lives”. Look at Germany’s World Cup triumph in 2014 and Mario Gotze’s heroics – a previously unheralded kid whose time had come.
  2. Servant leadership where the stars sacrifice. When the stars use their experience to rally the troops and inspire them, it helps to bring forth the buy-in from the rest of the team. Witness the 2006 World Cup when an aging Zinedine Zidane led France to the final. Not until the infamous headbutt did France really look like losing. He sacrificed himself for the team throughout the tournament, playing with the energy of a kid and the calming influence of a father. He realized that the team wasn’t all about him but he showed his team just how much the matches meant.

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So, England – bring back Bobby Charlton…and build a team, not just a collection of highly paid individuals.

 

(Image credit: New York Times, Sports Corner)

The Story of a Future Olympian

We all have something to strive for. We test ourselves to gauge how far we’ve come and to ensure we are reaching our goals. That test is such a small part of what we do. 99% of the time we are working hard, training, and going about our daily lives. This is the weekend is the biggest test of my life. I get to chase my dreams 8 times around Hayward Field.

My dreams haven’t just materialized overnight. I grew up hearing about the Oregon greats as a child. Legends from long ago; Bill Bowerman and Steve Prefontaine, and more recently with Galen Rupp and Ashton Eaton, have stamped themselves in the books of Tracktown lore. Their names are what inspired me to begin running in my early days of middle school and high school athletics. Now it’s more than beating my own times. It’s about the running lifestyle and staying active doing the things I love with friends.

I have loved the hours spent running with teammates, being taught by coaches and finding other ways to push myself. Furthermore, I have always looked for more opportunities to push myself even further. The Kazi app has let me do just that. I have been enabled to find more like-minded people seeking their athletic goals and became connected to an even bigger support group that helps others achieve their goals.

I always enjoy running with the incredibly active community in Eugene. Whenever Run Hub Northwest or Eugene Running Company hold group runs, you can bet I will be there. The environment is friendly, the training is excellent, and the knowledge of the staff at the events rivals that of the best collegiate coaches.

I know that when I run my race, my friends, my family, my teammates, and my coaches will be cheering me on. This is the moment we have all been waiting for. It’s time to become an Olympian.

The Game that Inspires the Globe: The Best Soccer Motivation Quotes

The Euro cup is in full swing! The quarterfinals matches will start this week after today’s matches between Italy and Spain, and England and Iceland. Of course, the Euro cup is a huge event for the millions of soccer fans around the world. The best players in the sport of soccer are fighting for the title of the best soccer club in Europe.

In order to compete at this level, players must be incredible athletes, have unwavering focus, and extreme determination to be the best in their sport. That’s why soccer can be such an inspiration for people around the globe. Whether it’s teamwork or personal achievement, there are great lessons to be learned from the world’s biggest sport.

“For sportsmen or women who want to be champions, the mind can be as important, if not more important, than any other part of the body.” – Gary Neville, Manchester United

“I am constantly being asked about individuals. The only way to win is as a team. Football is not about one or two or three star players.” – Pele

“If you’re in the penalty area and don’t know what to do with the ball, put it in the net and we’ll discuss the options later.” – Bob Paisley, Liverpool

“I once cried because I had no shoes to play soccer, but one day, I met a man who had no feet.” – Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid

“The secret is to believe in your dreams; in your potential that you can be like your star, keep searching, keep believing and don’t lose faith in yourself.” – Neymar Jr., FC Barcelona

Now is the time to be mobilized. Whether you are inspired to create a team of friends, achieve athletic goals, or just to be healthy, you must start somewhere. There are many people just like you seeking to get active on the road to a healthier lifestyle. Get in touch with your local YMCA, contact old friends for a pickup soccer game, or let Kazi App do it for you. In the least, just get outside!

Sunday Trivia: All About Britain

The Brits have caused quite the international stir and shaken up the world financial systems after deciding to leave the European Union. In the wake of #Brexit, many of us are reminded that we really don’t know much about our allies across the pond. Though it’s hard to know all the intricacies behind the Brexit, it is a good idea to test where we stand with our knowledge about Great Britain.

Fill out the form below and the winner will receive a Kazi prize.

WADA – When Administrators Defeat Athletics

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Early Friday morning, news began to filter out to various outlets that the Rio lab that will be testing for drug use at the 2016 Summer Olympics has been suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Sadly, it seems that at nearly every Olympics Games in recent memories, the lead-up has been characterized not by inspiration stories of amateur athletes finally getting that one shot for gold, but rather the administration of the events.

Think back:

  • 2014 Sochi – Occurred amidst the Crimean controversy.
  • 2012 London – Citizens couldn’t get tickets to the biggest and most enticing events because of the poor allocation system. But they could definitely pay taxes to fund the Games.
  • 2010 Vancouver- The Canadians just did things right…but for us on the West Coast, why were we watching the Downhill on a 5-hour delay when we were literally a two hour drive from the Games?
  • 2008 Beijing – A good Games, but the Opening Ceremony was almost too good. It was all people talked about for months.
  • 2006 Turin – Not bad except that you still had Mr. Berlusconi running a corrupt government.
  • 2004 Athens – Greece has still not recovered from the economic setbacks of that time period.

Can we not just celebrate the athletes? Are we not permitted simply to laud the unifying spirit that the Olympics provides? No; for we aren’t even worried about the athletes cheating now – we are worried about the testing agencies cheating. Layer upon layer of administration, more and more filters obscuring the pure and unadulterated essence of global competition and international cooperation.

This is not about red tape or bureaucracy but where our attention is focused. It can either be focused on politics – I mean, let’s be honest, we get plenty of that elsewhere – or it can be focused on something that takes place once every two years, for just two weeks. For those two weeks we can cheer together, high-five together, appreciate what pure hard work means together. We can cry as athletes collapse with exhaustion and cry when they get back up – not to win but to finish.

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We don’t pretend to be anything close to Olympianic at Kazi. But we can try, in our own small way, to contribute to that same essence – that same spirit with which all of us identify. We will be cheering for the Americans but we won’t begrudge anyone cheering for their own – as long as it isn’t WADA, the World Athletic Distraction Agency.

Upcoming Weekend Activities 6/24-6/26

If there’s one thing you MUST do this weekend, it is the Bubble Run at the Valley River Center. The Kazi team will be there cheering on the runners and handing out refreshing lemonade. If you cannot make it, have no fear! There are plenty of other happenings this weekend that will keep you moving and living the #kazilife.

Group Runs, YMCA Happenings, and Other Adventures

  • Friday, 5:30pm
    • Eugene YMCA
    • The YMCA hosts 4.0+ tennis drop-in for two-and-a-half hours
    • Open gym until 10:00PM
    • See the Kazi app for more details
  • Saturday, 8:00am
    • Eugene Bubble Run
    • Join us and 5000 participants at this weekend’s 5K Eugene Bubble Run
    • For more information to sign up for the race, check out the Bubble Run website
    • Don’t forget to attend via the Kazi app, too!
  • Saturday, 9:00am
    • RunHub Northwest
    • Run Hub Northwest is excited to host Saturday morning long runs (4-8+ miles) from the store at 515 High St. in Eugene
    • For more information, check out the Group Runs page
  • Saturday, 9:00am
    • Eugene Fun Run Club
    • Run/Walk around Amazon Park using the Galloway Method.
    • Meet at 195 E 24th Ave, Eugene, OR 97405
    • See the Kazi app for more details
  • Sunday, 8:30am
    • Eugene Fun Run Club
    • Sunday Trail Run – Martin St.
    • Meet up, 5202 Canyon Dr., Eugene, OR 97405
    • See the Kazi app for more details
  • Sunday, 9:00am
    • Eugene Running Company
    • Runners of all abilities are encouraged to meet for this informal and flexible run. Though Sunday runs are typically longer, runners wanting to go any distance or pace are encouraged to come and join on the fabled Pre’s Trail
    • See the Kazi app for more details

Events to Watch (or participate in)

  • Saturday, 8:00am-12:00pm
    • Eugene Bubble Run
    • This event is sure to be the most fun of the weekend. Whether running or just watching the fun, come join us at the Bubble Run at the Valley River Center.
    • See the Eugene Bubble Run website for more details